Nuwaubian “cult leader” and apparent pedophile predator Dwight “Malachi” York is facing judge and jury in what appears to be the beginning of the final chapter of his sordid life.

York is accused of sexually abusing minor children, through hundreds of criminal counts.

One witness told jurors yesterday how the self-proclaimed “Imperial Grand Potentate,” now known as “Chief Black Thunderbird Eagle,” regularly molested her beginning at the age of 8 reports the Athens Banner-Herald.

The “cult leader” allegedly created a contingent of child sex-slaves, and at least 13 of his purported victims have come forward as potential witnesses reports Associated Press.

These minor children reportedly often went hungry and struggled in substandard living conditions while the “cult leader” led a lifestyle of luxury, as a seemingly absolute ruler.

Hopefully, the York case will focus needed attention on the issue of the plight of children within destructive cults.

Kids in cults are most often brought into such groups like so much baggage when parents join. They have no choice, and are instead dependent upon their family to make choices for them. Subsequently, they may suffer whatever hardships and/or abuse is meted out by a cult, often with no meaningful protection.

The safeguards and advocacy, which are usually readily available to mainstream kids through concerned parents, schools, neighbors or child protection services, are not typically accessible to minors housed within cult compounds.

Cult parents typically rely upon their leader’s value judgements, whatever the leader says is right is right and whatever the leader says is wrong is wrong.

Morality may become situational and essentially subject to the whims of someone like York.

Historically, in many cults parents have actually cooperated in the harm done to their own children, through medical neglect, brutal physical punishment and at times sexual abuse.

Reports of child abuse and/or endangerment has surfaced repeatedly in groups such as the Waco Davidians, Children of God, Word of Faith Fellowship, The Church of God Restoration and the so-called “Twelve Tribes,” just to name a few.

Courts have increasingly ruled that parental prerogatives do not include doing anything in the name of religion.

Most of York’s followers remain faithful despite the horrible crimes he is accused of, even though the “cult leader” confessed in a plea agreement, which was ultimately rejected.

The judge apparently felt 15 years was not enough prison time for the admitted child molester.

York’s devotees prefer to see his criminal prosecution as “persecution,” the end result of a conspiracy concocted by law-enforcement together with disgruntled former members. And some have said York’s confession was the result of “torture.”

Such bizarre claims do seem to indicate that the Nuwaubians, like other “cult” members reported about in the past, are deeply “brainwashed.” Perhaps they are so personally invested in the mythology York created and have sacrificed so much; they are unable to move on.

Sadly, the children of this faithful remnant remain prisoners of the “cult” until their parents break free from the mental and emotional bondage wrought by York.

The Nuwaubian leader will likely end his life in prison. But despite that punishment, nothing can restore the innocence of the children he victimized.

Lawyers representing “cult leader” Dwight “Malachi” York have asked that their client be evaluated regarding his competency for trial reported the Macon Telegraph.

The judge ordered the psychological evaluation Monday.

York is charged for sexually abusing 13 minor children. The “cult leader” admitted his guilt as part of a plea agreement, but the judge who wanted more time for the pedophile in prison rejected the deal.

York who once led the group known as the Nuwaubians says he is immune from prosecution due to his status as an Indian chief.

He now calls himself “Chief Black Eagle.”

York has previously assumed titles such as “The Imperial Grand Potentate” and “The Grand Al Mufti Divan.”

The judge will probably not be too surprised if the evaluation shows that the “cult leader” is deeply disturbed. Based upon York’s behavior it appears he is a psychopath, sociopath and/or at least stricken with a serious personality disorder.

But his lawyers insist, “This is not an insanity issue.”

However, “cult leaders” like York often appear to be crazy.

Shoko Asahara the bizarre leader of Aum, who is facing murder charges, mumbles to himself and won’t answer questions in court.

Marshall Applewhite of “Heaven’s Gate” spent time in a mental health facility. He checked himself in.

Joseph Kibwetere who led hundreds of Africans to death in Uganda was likewise once hospitalized.

Charles Manson has also not been described glowingly in psychiatric reports.

The problem is crazy is as crazy does.

This means that crazy cult leaders often do damage through insane acts, such as staging their own personal Armageddon, “Helter Skelter” or leading others to mass suicide as they unravel.

Some cults seem “crazy” because cult followers are most often modeling their behavior after a deeply disturbed leader and/or living out his or her delusions.

Interestingly, York’s followers now think their Indians too and have taken to wearing Native American costumes outside the courthouse during demonstrations of support for their jailed leader.

“Less than a year ago [York] was a Jewish Rabbi and today they were all dressed like Indians again,” observed an amazed Sheriff.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

Alleged “cult leader,” pedophile, sexual predator and criminal Dwight “Malachi” York has now gone native, Native American that is reported the Macon Telegraph.

York says he’s really “Chief Black Eagle” of the “Yamassee” tribe, which is supposedly recognized by the United Nations.

200 of his followers, known as the Nuwaubians, obliged their leader and showed up to express support costumed as Native Americans.

What seems to have brought on York’s latest change of heritage is a US district court judge that vetoed the “chief’s ” plea bargain with prosecutors reported WSBTV.

This means York no longer has the assurance of just a 15-year sentence, which might have meant parole for the purported “cult leader” in as little as 12 years.

So what now for “Black Eagle”?

York told the judge apparently with a straight face, “I am a Moorish Cherokee and I cannot get a fair trial if I am being tried by settlers or confederates.”

Huh? Or should that be HOW?

Things are getting increasingly desperate for this chief and his dwindling tribe. It looks like York may spend the rest of his life in prison.

And pedophiles don’t do well locked up. After all even prison inmates have standards. “Chief” or no chief, York would likely end up pitching his Teepee in protective custody.

Apparently the judge thinks that certain types of crime deserve special consideration. He said that the plea deal “does not address the severity of the admitted and alleged conduct of the defendant.”

York is charged with more than 200 counts of sexual abuse that involved 13 minor children.

So don’t expect to see this “Moorish Cherokee” smoking the peace pipe with prosecutors. Instead it looks like “Black Eagle” better put on his war paint and prepare for a court battle.

Organizations or groups that are personality-driven and/or essentially defined by the personality of a charismatic leader, have often been called “cults.”

However, not all cults are destructive and many over the centuries have been relatively benign.

It seems some American corporations can be seen as consumer “cults,” often driven and/or defined by their founder’s personality.

The saga of the corporate Multi-media Empire wrought by Martha Stewart appears to be one example.

This commercial kingdom is so identified and defined by its creator, it is called “Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.”

But Martha’s empire has lost half its value, since the stature of its leader began to crumble.

Would Stewart’s cult following stay loyal to the brand without the presence of her personality?

Martha Stewart is an “extreme case of this corporate cult of personality,” reports the Boston Globe.

But there are other personality-driven enterprises such as Oprah Winfey’s synergistic media holdings, which continue to thrive.

Rosie O’Donnell seemed to be embarking on the path of Oprah, until “coming out” became more important to the talk show host than being in the money.

What will be Martha Stewart’s corporate legacy if she is killed in court?

Will her magazine fold, like George did, not long after founder John F. Kennedy Jr. died?

Most cults end or slowly whither away after the leader dies or self-destructs.

There is no “Family” without Charles Manson. And groups like Synanon, Aum and the Nuwaubians faded after their leaders were prosecuted.

But it seems that if there are significant assets and an ample cash flow “cults” can continue after a founder dies.

Witness how Scientology soldiers on undaunted by L. Ron Hubbard’s death in the 80s. Its celebrity faithful like John Travolta and Tom Cruise have not lost faith and keep paying for Hubbard’s “technology.”

The die-hard followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh still watch his videos long after their leader’s demise. And they gather to honor him at the still active ashram he started in India.

But after Herbert Armstrong died his Worldwide Church of God struggled to establish a new identity. And it shrank as adherents exited. It seems without Armstrong there was no lasting loyalty.

Which historical “cult” example will Stewart’s “corporate cult of personality” parallel?

Will there be consumer fealty for “Martha Stewart Living,” if Martha is living in prison?

Her fans might move on to a less controversial and/or embattled “domestic diva.”

Martha Stewart may have taught Americans that simplicity is timeless, but it seems probable that her cult following will dwindle if she does any time.

Children once separated from their families due to false claims of “Satanic ritual abuse” are now suing Scottish social services, reports Scotland on Sunday.

During the early 90s numerous children were taken from their families by zealous social workers that falsely claimed they were abused by parents suspected as participants in “Satanic rituals.”

One judge called the treatment of the children by social services, “[A] tragedy of immense proportions.”

A plaintiff in the suit looking back on a ruined childhood said, “My education suffered badly and I became withdrawn. I still lack self-esteem. I have no confidence in anything I do.”

Her mother added, “Imagine what it would feel like to have your child taken away from you, not to see her for a year and to have only limited supervised contact for another four. This matter devastated my whole family.”

Such unproven claims of “Satanism” and supposed “ritual abuse” still often go unchallenged within the United States and networks of “survivors” support each other in such claims.

A cottage industry of “helping professionals,” related books and seminars centered on such allegations continues to thrive.

But many US mental health professionals have been virtually put out of business by lawsuits filed by victimized patients and/or their families.

Many children are the proven victims of “cults” such as the Krishna movement, Nuwaubians and Church of God Restoration.

It seems responsible professionals and public servants should focus limited resources on those proven to be victims, rather than pursuing fantastic conspiracy theories.

The Waco Tribune Herald concluded its nine-part series today with an article entitled, “Prophesying about Waco.”

The newspaper was seemingly taking a swing at foretelling the future, but not in any biblical sense. The article focused on the future of Waco, in an effort to burnish the image of the Texas town.

Baylor University is spending more than a $100 million dollars to expand its presence in Waco and some civic leaders hope that President George W. Bush might decide to build his presidential library there.

The series explored the town and its mood more than it delved into the facts about the Branch Davidians, at times it read like a brochure put out by the Waco Chamber of Commerce.

Ten years ago things were quite different.

Waco Tribune reporters Darlene McCormick and Mark Englund, who are no longer on staff at the newspaper, dug deep to produce an in-depth investigative series titled “The Sinful Messiah.”

If not for politics the two journalists might have picked up a Pulitzer.

That was then, and this is now.

Hard reporting seems to be the last thing anyone wants in Waco these days. What the Texas town is intent upon, is distancing itself from the cult led by David Koresh.

One civic booster even went so far as to point out that the cult standoff “happened outside of Waco.” And then offered these prophetic words, “I think we’ve got about as bright a future as we ever had.”


A Baylor professor chimed in, “Time has a wonderful way of curing things…My guess is that as time passes, the name ‘Waco’ – so indelibly marked in the minds of most Americans for a time [regarding the cult standoff] – will begin to fade.”

Well, Baylor certainly hopes so.

But the Waco Davidian tragedy was the second longest standoff in American history. And it is highly unlikely that it will “fade” anytime soon, despite the “prophesying.”

In fact it seems like some folks in Waco would rather ignore history altogether.

The paper appeared anxious not to anger anti-government conspiracy types. In a seeming bow to the fringe it reported a fire of “much-debated origin” ended the lives of the Davidians.

However, this ignores the facts as established by two congressional inquiries, an independent investigation and the verdict of both judge and jury in a civil trial.

The overwhelming evidence has conclusively proven that Koresh ordered the fire set.

In the final paragraphs of the recent Tribune series Baylor sociologist Larry Lyon offered his evaluation of the standoff’s enduring legacy.

He claimed, “It no longer means religious fanaticism. Now it’s a place where the government overreached.”

Perhaps this thinking is popular in Waco, essentially blaming the tragedy on outsiders. But the professor must be in an academic isolation tank.

Maybe he thinks the mass suicide at Jonestown was also the government’s fault, for not requiring that all Kool-Aide packages state, “Do not mix with cyanide.”

Kerri Jewell was only a child a decade ago, but her memory is more deeply etched that the professor’s. This is because she once lived in the cult compound.

Jewell said in a recent interview, “At some point we were going to have to die for him [David Koresh]. I didn’t expect to live past 12.”

Due to a bitter custody fight Kerri Jewell was not in the compound at the time of the standoff. Her mother was and she died in the fire.

ABC reported Davidian kids were taught “there were only two types of people: ‘good’ people who were inside the cult, and ‘bad’ people who were everyone else.”

Some Davidians still around Waco make it clear they feel the same. One told the Tribune there was still hope for the town though.

Clive Doyle said, “I believe God wants to save Waco, and I believe God works every day to change the minds of the people in Waco.”


Another Davidian put it less tactfully, “When David [Koresh] comes back, there’s going to be an earthquake so bad that Lake Waco, the shore, is going to drop 15 feet. When it does that, there’s going to be a flood here like you never seen.”

Now there’s some old time “prophesying.”

Waco will continue to be largely remembered as the place where a destructive cult chose to end its days.

And contrary to what Lyon concludes, Waco and other cult tragedies since, have proven the government rather than worrying about “overreaching,” often must take decisive action.

In 1995 Aum gassed Tokyo’s subways, sending thousands to hospitals and killing twelve. Next came the Solar Temple suicide in Switzerland, which initially claimed the lives of 74.

Americans were shocked in 1997 when 39 “Heaven’s Gate” cult members committed mass-suicide near San Diego. And the government had no interest in the group.

Criminal arrests and prosecutions in recent years, reflect law enforcement’s growing reach into the world of groups called “cults.”

A few examples include the Nuwaubians and House of Prayer in Georgia, the Church of God Restoration in Canada and California, the R.G. Stair’s Overcomers Ministry in North Carolina, the General Assembly Church of the First Born in Colorado and Polygamist groups in Utah and Arizona.

Since anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City murdering 168, with “Remember Waco” as his battle cry, the FBI has busted and put away many so-called “militia” members for weapons violations.

It is doubtful that Koresh would be able to stockpile illegal weapons today as easily as he did in 1992-93.

The FBI has learned to identify and deal with fanatics more effectively. The Freeman standoff in Montana, which ended peacefully, proved this.

But the Freemen were not the Davidians, with a leader comparable to Koresh. It is doubtful that the Waco standoff could have ended any way, other than the one chosen by the cult leader.

In the final analysis this is the greatest lesson of Waco.

Destructive cult leaders are often psychopaths capable of horrific acts. Cult followers frequently abdicate any meaningful autonomy in favor of total dependence upon their leaders. And they then rely upon the judgement of someone else that may be mad.

This can be a formula for disaster. Waco is proof of that.

Arthur Allen and two of his followers from the “House of Prayer” have a deadline to meet today. They must appear in an Atlanta court at 1:00 PM or warrants will be issued for their arrest, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Allen and a married couple from his church were convicted of criminal “child cruelty,” due to the beatings children endured within the controversial Georgia group. They received jail time and probation.

Conditions of that probation include attending anger management classes and signing a written agreement not strike children with objects.

The parents refused to sign the document. Now they must come to court and comply or their probation will be violated.

In recent years there has been a crackdown on religious groups that abuse children.

Children were removed from a group in Canada called “The Church of God Restoration,” as a result of beatings. Parents from a branch of that church in California were arrested for medical neglect.

Dwight York, the leader of another group in Georgia named the “Nuwaubians,” was arrested and prosecuted for more than 200 counts of sexually abusing minor children in his group. York signed a plea agreement and is now serving a prison sentence.

Polygamist groups in Canada and the United States are being scrutinized for their treatment of children and some of their members have also been prosecuted for abuse.

Increasingly in North America authorities seem to be determining a boundary between legitimate religious practice and criminal child abuse.

It seems like Dwight “Malachi” York has used allegations of “persecution” and “racism” historically whenever there was a criminal investigation into his possible criminal activities.

When the Nuwaubian leader was cited in Georgia for anything from zoning violations to ultimately the sexual abuse of minor children, it was always somehow “persecution.”

And apparently, York may have used a similar strategy to deflect law enforcement regarding a murder investigation he was linked to years ago in Brooklyn, reports Newsday.

That murder in 1979 remains unsolved, though informants identified the killer as a close York associate.

But York moved to Georgia, where new allegations of “racism” would emerge whenever he was criticized. And prominent political leaders would rally around and defend the cult leader, reports Newsday.

York’s defenders included Al Sharpton, NAACP officials, Jesse Jackson and assorted Georgia politicians, who were apparently taken in by his claims of supposed injustice.

This isn’t a new story.

Jim Jones, the notorious cult leader who in 1978 led almost a thousand followers to death at Jonestown, likewise had an assortment of prominent leaders that once supported him.

Then California Governor Gerry Brown, State Assemblyman Willy Brown and Mayor Moscone of San Francisco were all once fans and friends of Jim Jones.

Willy Brown said years later, “If we knew then he was mad, clearly we wouldn’t have appeared with him.”

Mayor Moscone was somewhat more blunt, “It’s clear that if there was a sinister plan, then we were taken in.” But the mayor added, “I’m not taking any responsibility.”

Should politicians that support and/or somehow shield a cult leader from accountability or closer scrutiny accept any responsibility for whatever misdeeds and victimization takes place?

Certainly Revs. Sharpton and Jackson did not know about the gross abuses perpetrated by Dwight York, but perhaps they should have been more careful before defending the “cult leader.”

In the end it was the children under York’s control who were “persecuted,” through a reign of terror and sexual abuse at the hands of the “cult leader.”

Dwight “Malachi” York, the jailed leader of the Nuwaubians, struck a deal this week with prosecutors regarding criminal charges for sexually abusing and exploiting children.

Additional details of that deal are now known.

York will forfeit $400,000 seized by law enforcement in a raid, which will be divided amongst his victims.

Additionally, state and federal charges have been combined through the plea agreement, reports The Athens Banner-Herald.

According to the deal York could walk out of prison in 12 years, if he behaves. Then the “cult leader” would have at least 36 months of supervised release.

York will probably serve his time in a federal prison as opposed to a state prison.

The County Attorney said, ”It’s short enough that he won’t die in prison, but it’s long enough that he won’t live too much longer after he’s released.”

Let’s hope York’s family health history includes chronic clogged arteries, heart disease, cancer or something that would claim his life before he makes parole.

It seems that the children York terrorized and abused for years didn’t want to relive their past through testimony in open court.

And the “cult” leader used the children once again, this time as an apparent bargaining chip to avoid the risk of receiving a much longer sentence.

The District Attorney said, ”What we gave to our victims is that Mr. York stood up in court and said, ‘I did it. There’s no way his followers can say he was railroaded or there was a conspiracy.”

The County Attorney added, ”This guy who claimed to be a messiah stood up in court and admitted he was nothing less than a monster.”

However, if history means anything many Nuwaubians will not accept this ending. Like many cult followers of the past they will likely remain loyal, deny York’s guilt and insist he was “railroaded” and “persecuted.”

The followers of Yahweh Ben Yahweh waited for their convicted leader to finish his prison term and then joyfully reunited with him. Despite the fact that he had been linked to murder.

Former followers of David Koresh are still waiting for their pedophile “prophet” to return from heaven and judge the world, despite the repeated judgement of both a court and congress that he was a “monster.”

And there are many that today insist that Jim Jones was the victim of a “conspiracy.”

Cult followers are often so deeply invested in a leader and/or group; they can’t seem to accept the facts, which might contradict their beliefs. Denial for such people often becomes a way of life.

Dwight “Malachi” York has pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting and abusing minor children. He made his admission in open court yesterday, reports Associated Press.

The deal York and his attorney worked out with federal prosecutors would place the “cult leader” in prison for not less than 15 years followed by 3 years of supervised release.

York is 56. This would mean the Nuwaubian leader would be 71 upon release and 74 when his supervision ended.

Maybe federal prosecutors are betting York won’t live long enough to be a free man?

It is unclear how the current plea bargain would affect state charges, which includes a 208-count grand jury indictment.

York also has also been sued by his victims, one lawsuit alone is for $1 billion dollars.

With his confession in public the Nuwaubian leader has made moot his followers claim that he is the somehow the victim of conspiracy or “persecution.”

York is simply a pedophile properly charged for his heinous criminal conduct.

Perhaps the current deal on the table reflects not only the hopelessness of York’s defense, but his desire to be incarcerated within a federal prison, which would be far more comfortable than the state prison system in Georgia.

York is an experienced inmate who served three years in prison during the 1960s for resisting arrest, assault and possession of a dangerous weapon in New York.

His group began in New York during the 1970s before moving to Georgia ten years ago. York paid almost a million dollars to buy a 476-acre parcel that would eventually become his Nuwaubian compound near Athens.

Though the criminal case of Dwight York may be nearing its end, the suffering of his victims will go on for years. York sexually abused at least 13 children, ranging in age from 4 to 18. They will live with the memories of that abuse for a lifetime.

At one time York lived like a king in a $500,000 home in Athens, but now it seems the “cult leader” will soon be housed in a cell, probably within protective custody.

Even convicts find it difficult to live with sex offenders as sick, destructive and despicable as Dwight York.